Stakeholders' perspectives on urban water management in Ghana : a case study of Greater Accra Area and Kumasi Metropolitan Area
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In urban areas of Ghana, there are numerous and complex challenges confronting residents, in term of water access. This study seeks to understand these challenges from the perspectives of stakeholders. The stakeholders were selected from GAMA and KMA, the two most populous cities in the country, and where GWCL has the bulk of its customers. To achieve the objectives of the study the case study method was used. This method was particularly useful, as it provided an in-depth explanation of the situation. Also, it facilitated data collection and analysis of information from different sources. Fundamentals of the public goods theory were used for the analysis. The research revealed a number of issues relevant to the discourse on urban water management. Importantly, it emerged from the study that the country’s urban water sector is entangled with the problem of low investment. This situation, coupled with bad management practices has rendered the water company incapable of fulfilling its mandate of providing potable water to urban residents. Consequently, there are many communities without water supply. Where the utility network is available, the rate of access varies, depending on several factors, including socio-economic circumstances, location, and availability of infrastructure, among others. Still, in cases where there is no network supply these factors still influence access. Also, it came out that the difficult situation of water access has lead to the emergence of a mix of sources in water provision, which raises concerns about public health and regulation. Under these circumstances, applying the theory of consumptive goods presents a lot of complexities. Against this backdrop, it can be argued from the perspective of the stakeholders that water as a public good, at least in the Ghanaian context is a model desired by many urban residents, but yet to materialize.